History of King's Highway 121:
King's Highway 121 was a minor collector highway which ran through the heart of Central Ontario, from Highway 35 south of Fenelon Falls to Highway 28 at Paudash. Highway 121 had one of the strangest routes of any highway in Ontario, with a meandering south loop that was apparently intended as an alternate route to Highway 35 between Fenelon Falls and Minden. In fact, Highway 121 intersected Highway 35 no fewer than three times over a distance of 60 km. At Minden, Highway 121 assumed a more logical east-west routing, connecting to Highway 118 at Haliburton Village and ultimately to Highway 28 south of Bancroft. Most of the route was downloaded in 1998. The surviving portion of Highway 121 between Haliburton Village and Paudash was renumbered as Highway 118 in 2003.
The history of Highway 121 dates back to May 1955, when the Ontario Department of Highways (DHO) designated a new King's Highway between Fenelon Falls and Minden. This new provincial highway was designated as Highway 121 on May 25, 1955. Initially, the new route was 57 km in length, but it was extended east from Minden towards Bancroft the following year. On March 7, 1956, the DHO assumed another road from Minden to Tory Hill, and designated this new road as a section of Highway 121 as well. With this new extension to Tory Hill, Highway 121 was 108 km in length, which included a short concurrent route with Highway 35 through Minden. The section of Highway 121 from Powles Corners to Fenelon Falls was originally a section of Highway 35, but it was renumbered as Highway 121 following the completion of the Fenelon Falls Bypass. In late 1955, Highway 35 was rerouted onto the new bypass west of the town.
Highway 121 was mostly paved before the highway was designated. The only gravel-surfaced section existed between Loon Lake (east of Haliburton Village) and Tory Hill. However, this section was paved in 1959. In 1964, Highway 121 assumed the entire routing of Highway 109 (#2) and a short section of Secondary Highway 500. This route renumbering resulted in Highway 121 being extended easterly from its old terminus at Tory Hill to the Highway 28 Junction in Paudash. The two highways that were absorbed by Highway 121 were already paved. As a result, the route renumbering in 1964 effectively completed Highway 121 to its pre-1998 length of 134 km.
On January 1, 1998, the entire southern portion of Highway 121, from the south Highway 35 Junction at Powles Corners to the Highway 118 Junction in Haliburton Village, was downloaded to the County of Victoria (Kawartha Lakes) and the County of Haliburton. The former section of Highway 121 is now known as Kawartha Lakes Road 121 and Haliburton Road 121 from Powles Corners to Minden and Haliburton Road 21 between Minden and Haliburton Village. The remaining section of King's Highway 121 from Haliburton Village to the Highway 28 Junction in Paudash existed up until 2003, when it was renumbered as King's Highway 118. The route renumbering, which officially took place on May 1, 2003, extended the length of Highway 118 to 128 km.
Highway 121 is a rather remote two-lane highway for much of its length. Services are rather scarce along Highway 121 outside of large communities. The only major towns along the highway are Fenelon Falls, Minden, Haliburton Village and Paudash. Unless posted otherwise, the speed limit on Highway 121 is 80 km/h (50 mph). Please visit the Highway 121 Mileage Chart page for a list of mileage reference points along Highway 121.
Additional Information About King's Highway 121:
Learn More About King's Highway 121 (My Upcoming Publications)
King's Highway 121 - Route Information (At Scott Steeves' website: asphaltplanet.ca)